It’s not news that Russia is actively engaged in spreading disinformation among the American public about a number of issues. One of those is sowing vaccine mistrust.
Globally though, 21st century citizens everywhere are all doing an atrocious job at understanding what is threatening our survival. COVID-19 is one of them. After centuries of progressive inoculations that have saved populaces and helped them thrive, somehow the COVID vaccine has been singled out as a threat worse than the disease it is intended to prevent.
I don’t know why. As an adult, I’ve always known vaccines save lives. I don’t understand people who don’t. I suspect I will never get a good answer explaining those people.
Anyway, Russia’s getting a taste of its own medicine, as its disinformation machine has now reached their country. People’s prejudices about vaccines are being writ large and hesitancy is up, just like here. Nationally, they’re doing worse than we are in terms of percentage inoculated. Approximately half the population has no plan to vaccinate. Meanwhile, they’re racking up 40,000 cases a day.
There are theories for Russian vaccine stupidity. Some of them could easily apply to us. There’s a healthy mistrust of Vladimir Putin and the government in the mix. Others have developed distrust in the poor quality of the Russian medical system. There’s also a historical bias against them, again, heaven knows why.
Despite the number on the calendar, most of the world is made up of folksy people who listen to their own whispers rather than pay attention to facts and realities being relayed to them by the thinking classes, the media, and the government. Perhaps if those institutions had done a better job improving the lives of ordinary people, we might not have this disconnect. Then again, folksy people hold onto their belief systems fairly tightly. Not even death and sickness will shake them.